(a) In addition to all other powers and duties conferred upon the commission by this chapter, the commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements for electric utilities in this state for purposes of accomplishing the following:
(1) Identifying and maintaining a registry of persons that are dependent upon life support systems which require electric service to function, and updating that registry at least twice annually; all new customers shall be notified of the registry and its functions;
(2) Providing adequate notice of planned power outages to each residence in the registry; and
(3) Organizing service restoration so that, as much as practicable given the scope and nature of a power outage, priority is given to residences listed in the registry.
(b) An electric utility which acts in good faith to comply with the rules promulgated in accordance with this section shall not be liable for damages in a civil action for any injuries or deaths resulting from loss of power to a life support system as a result of a power outage.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring an electric utility to provide back-up life support to any customers.
(d) For purposes of this section, the term "life support system" means a kidney dialysis machine, mechanical ventilation device or other medical device, the use of which is prescribed by a licensed physician and upon the request of the patient or his or her patient representative, is certified by such physician in writing to the electric utility as necessary to sustain critical body functions and without which a person is in imminent risk of death.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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